Young people should not accept the message that they are future leaders from selfish politicians that have been in government and public service since independence.
Time has come for young people to actively participate in all sectors in our country including politics. As such, young people should get fed up with being told that they are young trees that would be the forest of tomorrow because such clichés have been used over the years to promote continued participation of the same old people at the expense of the young and vibrant.
Some people in our country have been in government and public service since independence and want to continue working until they die. We are not saying we don’t need the wisdom and experience of elders but that they should also retire and give chance to young people to play a role as well. Elders should continue giving guidance enriched by their vast experience from the back seat.
Against this background, we urge young people to continue opposing PF’s ill-conceived idea of raising the retirement age from 55 to 65. With high levels of unemployment especially among the youth, raising the retirement age is a great disadvantage to young people.
As young people throughout the country join us in demanding for a new people driven constitution, we urge them to stand up against the bad culture of endorsing old and tired politicians as candidates for elective office. Young people in political parties should also push for intra-party democracy and renewal of leadership that promotes the participation of young people.
The entire world has moved away from the old culture of having old and finished politicians as leaders. This is because the challenges we face today requires new thinking and servant leadership that comes with new blood. Time to stop recycling recycled leadership is now.
Finally, we are calling upon Mr Sata not to entertain calls for him to stand in 2016 but draw the curtain on pre-independence politicians who have been in leadership beyond their usefulness.
Fr Frank Bwalya